"Gathering nine million of our closest friends in stores on one day just didn't feel right."

By Mary Honkus
June 18, 2020 03:44 PM
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7-Eleven
Credit: 7-Eleven

For years 7-Eleven has celebrated its birthday by giving out free Slurpees on July 11 (7/11), but this years' celebration is going to be a little different.

The convenience store recently announced that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are canceling 7-Eleven day for the first time in almost 20 years. The decision was made due to safety concerns for customers and employees since the Slurpee machines are mainly self-serve.

"At 7-Eleven, our top priority is the safety of customers, Franchisees, and employees," said 7-Eleven Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Marissa Jarratt in a press release. "Gathering nine million of our closest friends in stores on one day just didn't feel right."

To commemorate the company's birthday, 7-Eleven is instead donating 1 million meals through Feeding America to help communities that have especially struggled throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

And 7-Eleven still plans to give away free Slurpees this year, just in a different format. The convenience store will be giving a free coupon for a medium Slurpee to everyone with a 7Rewards member account. The coupon will be in the app and is redeemable July 1 through July 31, 2020. 7-Eleven hopes that this promo will encourage rewards members to treat themselves while staying socially distant.

7-Eleven Slurpee
Credit: 7-Eleven

Throughout the pandemic, 7-Eleven has been keeping customers safe while employing more than 20,000 new workers. In March, the company announced the new jobs to assist with the increased demand for products and boost job opportunities, according to a press release.

“7-Eleven is a neighborhood store and it’s our priority to serve the communities in which we operate during this unprecedented crisis,” the company’s President and CEO Joe DePinto said in a statement.

The new employees are helping to “ensure 7-Eleven stores remain clean and in-stock with the goods our customers need during this critical time," he added.